Providence is back in the state title game.
Brent Villasenor pitched a complete-game shutout to lead the Celtics to a 1-0 win over Oak Park-River Forest in the second Class 4A state semifinal at Silver Cross Field in Joliet Friday.
Villasenor out-dueled Oak Park junior Hank Christie, who pitched six innings and allowed just one run and two hits.
“In the first couple innings I could see his style was a lot like mine,” said Villasenor. “I knew there weren’t going to be a lot of runs.”
Villasenor (9-3) allowed just two hits, struck out seven and walked two.
Providence’s Zach Pych was hit by a pitch to start the fifth inning. Jackson Dvorak sacrificed Pych to second and then ninth hitter Matt Diehl ripped a double into the gap in right center to bring home the game’s only run.
“It was a great baseball game,” said Providence coach Mark Smith. “Well-pitched on both sides and well defended on both sides. It came down to one big play and Diehl had it.”
Providence (30-8) will face Mount Carmel in the state title game Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The Caravan beat the Celtics twice this season: 3-1 and 2-1.
“We know (Mount Carmel) is the most talented team in Illinois,” said Smith. “There is no doubt about it on paper. You just have to be the best team that day.”